Climate tricks

It would seem that the climate septic blogosphere is currently in an onanistic frenzy over a large number of email files and other electronic documents stolen by hackers from the servers of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

One can understand why the authors of the texts in question are reluctant to comment on their content. What we have here appears to be a conspiracy by climate change deniers in collusion with organised crime. Inspector Knacker is now on the case, and when those responsible for distributing the material are caught, they will likely be shat upon from a very great height.

And rightly so. I’m sure that if I were to gain access to and publish the email correspondence of certain Daily Telegraph columnists, for example, some of the public would be fascinated, even if the material were to bore me absolutely rigid. But enough of this beating about the bush: James Delingpole is a tit. Separate Master Delingpole from his Oxonian corduroys and strangulated vowels, and he would be lost without hope. What a pathetic specimen of humanity he is.

The content of private working correspondence is in most cases none of the public’s business, and such prying can only be justified as part of a defensible freedom of information request. That is the moral position, and no amount of bleating from climate conspiracists about state funding of research can overshadow this.

How would you feel if I were to poke around your work email folders. Do I really want to know about your post-prandial slagging of a colleague in another department? I am a journalist, so the answer from me is possibly, but only as part of a properly conducted trawl for further evidence that you or your workmates are up to no good. Note my use of the word “further”.

Based on the comments made by climate scientists in their hacked email correspondence, I can see no evidence of actionable professional misconduct on their part. And as for a supposed “warmist” conspiracy to fiddle scientific data, don’t make me laugh!

Speaking from personal experience of working in the research trade, scientists’ “tricks” have nothing to do with pulling the wool over others’ eyes. Manipulating geophysical data into a form suitable for publication is an integral part of your average climate scientist’s job description. Take liberties with this and you will be torn to shreds by referees who are also research competitors.

In the relatively free market of scientific research, there is no collegial loyalty, and thus no space for grand conspiracies.

For far too long have climate scientists been reacting defensively to the lunatics who populate the blogosphere and more right-field sections of the media. Unlike wanky newspaper columnists and underemployed bloggers sitting at home in their jim-jams, climate scientists have a job to do. If they are to continue doing this job effectively, they will need now to go on the offensive.